I believe that procrastination keeps the majority of human beings from getting the most out of life. What is it exactly? The word procrastination literally means to leave something "for tomorrow." It comes from the Latin words pro (for) and cras (tomorrow). Procrastination is the postponement of something that you know you should do.
There are no "born" procrastinators; they develop their bad habits one step at a time. And that's how you can develop new habits to defeat procrastination-one step at a time. But you have to take the first step. You will never become a more active, take-charge person by reading articles and books on how to overcome procrastination. The best advice in the world will do you no good at all unless you act on it.
So I encourage you to make a commitment to act on the tips you find here. You may not agree with everything I say; I fight a daily battle against procrastination, too, and I don't always win. But you and I are on the same side-procrastination is our common enemy, and we both want to beat it.
Procrastination keeps people from living their best lives. Why do we procrastinate? There are many reasons: indecision, stress, fatigue, depression, a desire to gather information, disorganization, fear of failure, and even fear of success. You can't defeat procrastination overnight-if you're a procrastinator, you have been accumulating bad habits over a lifetime. But you can defeat procrastination by making a disciplined effort to get at the roots of the problem.
- Tip No. 1: Take full responsibility for your failures. One of the main causes of procrastination is the habit many people have of blaming their failures on circumstances. When you tell yourself that failures are caused by circumstances beyond your control, you are preparing yourself for a lifetime of procrastination.
- Tip No. 2: Just do it. Successful people know that their success depends on a commitment to do whatever it takes to reach a goal. Success in all projects, large and small, is determined by the actions you take and your ability to stay focused on your goals. This is true whether your goal is to reduce clutter at home, lose weight, restore a relationship, or complete a major project at work. Projects come in all different shapes, sizes, and levels of importance, but the principles that determine their success or failure are always the same: focus, determination, self-discipline, and confidence.
- Tip No. 3: Establish your priorities. What does it mean to change? To change is to choose a behavior different from the one you're using now. We all have to fight the drift toward procrastination every day. If you're losing the war against procrastination, you need to get your priorities right.
Make a list of your priorities at work and in your relationships. Make a commitment to make something happen in at least one of your high-priority items every day. The novelist George Eliot said, "It's never too late to be the person you could have been." The best time to start is now.